When a Defective Car Part Causes a Crash

Car Accident Lawyer

Often, the fault for a car accident lies with one or more of the drivers involved. However, sometimes a collision results because a part of your vehicle is defective. Defective car parts can cause conditions that contribute to crashes, in which case you bear no responsibility. Furthermore, because the fault for the crash rests not with you but with the manufacturer of your car (or the particular part), you may be able to bring a product liability suit against the manufacturer and obtain compensation for damages.

Defective Parts Versus Lack of Maintenance

However, just because a part on your vehicle fails doesn’t necessarily mean that it is defective. A defective part has a design flaw that prevents it from performing the way it is supposed to, even when it is brand new, used according to instructions, and maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

The different parts on your vehicle are subject to tremendous forces of speed and pressure, meaning that they can wear out over time. Failure to properly maintain your vehicle, whether that means repair or replacement of parts that are wearing out, is not a defect. Rather it is a driver error, meaning that if a lack of maintenance causes an accident, you can be held liable.

Types of Defects That May Cause Accidents

There are two basic types of vehicle defects that may affect you in an accident: Those that can cause a collision, and those that may make the effects of the accident worse.

The defects that can cause an accident include the following:

  • Tire failure
  • Power steering failure
  • Brake failure
  • Loss of acceleration control
  • Electrical system defects
  • Spontaneous airbag deployment

The following defects may cause no trouble at all until an accident occurs, but then they can cause additional injury:

  • Breaking seatbacks
  • Unbuckling seatbelts
  • Collapsing roofs

A particularly concerning defect relates to the airbags. They can cause accident or injury by deploying when they aren’t supposed to, but they can also contribute to further injury in an accident by either deploying too forcefully or not at all.

Considerations When Bringing a Product Liability Suit

In order to obtain damages from a product liability suit involving a car accident, there are several important things that you will need to demonstrate to the court:

  1. The part was defective.
  2. You suffered injury and/or loss as part of the accident.
  3. The defective part directly caused your injury.

It can be difficult to prove all of these factors by yourself without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact a law office today to explore your legal options.

Source: Car Accident Lawyer Towson, MD, Greenberg Law Offices

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